London - American Sarah Fisher will become the first woman in 10 years to drive a Formula One car when she tries out a McLaren at Indianapolis next week, the team announced on Thursday.

"We are pleased to provide Sarah with this one-off opportunity," said McLaren International managing director Martin Whitmarsh in a statement.

"Through our 39 year history we have never had a female drive one of our Formula One cars so I guess it's about time.

"Hopefully Sarah's demonstration will assist in promoting Formula One in America further and give her a taste of the category."

Fisher, 21, competes in the Indy Racing League (IRL) and last month became the first woman to qualify on pole position in a major open-wheel championship.

She has also secured second and third place finishes.

The last women to try, unsuccessfully, to qualify a Formula One car for a race was Italian Giovanna Amati in 1992.

McLaren said Fisher, who has already raced in the Indy 500 and lives in Indianapolis, would do a demonstration run on the grand prix circuit in the regular spare McLaren MP4-17 car on Friday September 27 at the Motor Speedway.

She visited McLaren's headquarters in Britain on Wednesday for a seat fitting and met team members.

"I'm obviously very excited about driving a Formula One car in front of my home crowd," she said. "It's extremely rare to get a chance like this and I can't wait."